How we celebrated Valentine’s Day:
We don’t do anything special like buying each other gifts or going on romantic dates as such. I mostly bring out the love letters, cards, fleeing boarding pass, train tickets, hotel bill from a stack that I have preserved. I pick a few and hang them on my magnetic photo frame. It feels so good to revisit the adrenaline rush during my teenage years, and to reminisce the amateur love that has grown older, stronger and more mature over the years. There are only a couple of items that Abbas had sent to me for obvious reasons J but the ones that I sent are so mushy and make me blush when I read them.
This year, I was very cautious when I chose which cards to hang as Mantam read anything and everything. I chose cards that had my love for Abbas scribbled all over them but nothing very sensuous. As expected Mantam went right to the cards on the morning of the 14th and went Ooohhh, Aaahhh and Awwwing and said “Wow Mumma, you must really love Baba so much” and I nodded in agreement trying to hide my pink cheeks. I made a rose with a strawberry, cut a few watermelon slices in heart shape using cookie cutter and made a sizzling dinner with some Paneer cut in heart shape and that was pretty much it. Abbas and I went through some of the cards together and relived the beautiful memories. Abbas told me that he would have to go to the city next day where my office was and we decided to meet up for lunch.
After a lovely Val day, the very next morning we had a fight, a very serious one at that. I was being a bit slack that morning and not rushing as I knew that I didn’t have to cook anything but just pack whatever was there from the previous night. Abbas was totally worked up because he had to leave early and it didn’t occur to me. He made tea, fixed breakfast for kids and was also struggling to wake them up while I was recharging my dying batteries. He got so pissed off that he started saying things that prompted that he was doing everything while I wasn’t doing anything. Well, it was true at that point but he meant that it was the usual routine and that he was burdened with too many responsibilities. I retorted and told him that he didn’t have to do anything if he thinks he is doing me a favour and that I was capable of managing everything by myself. One thing led to another and the argument got a bit carried away.
Abbas got ready and by then I had packed his breakfast and fruits. He kissed Mantam good bye and declared “I will not kiss Mumma today as she doesn’t deserve it”. And I murmured “Who cares!” under my breath. He stormed out saying he wouldn’t even meet me for lunch.
One of those mornings when Tammu is very upset with Abbas as he woke her up against her will. And she refused to kiss or hug or say good bye to him in the normal way. He left home and I gave her a big lecture on how we must always express our love, hug and kiss our loved ones before saying bye. You might regret it if something happens to your loved one and the guilt that you behaved badly with them is too painful to bear. Tammu had cried profusely and called Abbas from my phone and apologized to him.
As soon as Abbas slammed the door behind him, Mannu started crying. I felt terrible but I was very mad. I asked her why she was crying. She said it was because her Baba and I had not kissed before he left home. I told her “It’s ok Mannu. He thinks I don’t deserve his kisses.” Mannu retorted with “But you should’ve told him that you do deserve it. You should not have let him go” I did feel ashamed and was worried about what a terrible example we had set in front of them. I tried to console her saying “Don’t worry Mantam. Baba and I will sort it out soon. By evening you will probably see that we are back to normal. There is nothing to worry about. Even if we fight, we will never stop loving each other”.
Our very dear friends, who Mantam had been very close to, got separated a couple of years back. It did affect them to a certain extent. Ever since, I have noticed that even if Abbas and I have silly arguments which we are not even serious about, they feel jittery.
Mannu was so very upset with me that she chose to sport a pumpkin like expressionless face till we reached the station. Tammu, on the other hand, was on my side as expected. She was very upset too after the drama but as I have mentioned before, she loves me blindly. She came and hugged me saying “I am very angry with Baba. He knows that your parents are angry with you. How can he hurt you Mumma?” with moisty eyes. I couldn’t help but smile at her innocence and embraced her tightly and told her that her Baba does love me immensely and that a few skirmishes only strengthen our love for each other.
I kept on thinking about the whole episode during my train journey to work. I didn’t think it was my fault but to be fair, it wasn’t Abbas’s either. I blamed it on the stress! The week had started off with too much pressure. Both Monday and Tuesday had been longer than usual as Abbas had to leave early on both days and come back home late due to swimming classes in the evenings. It must have been pent up fatigue that showed up its ugly colours. My adamant self was pulling me back from messaging Abbas to sort things out. On the contrary my sensible self kept on taking the phone to text him and putting it back with a battle going on within me. Sensibility triumphed over stubborn ego, and I picked up the phone finally to type out an apology and a request to meet for lunch.
And so we met for lunch. Although the conversation started with a bit of friction, it all ended well and I told him about the girls’ reactions. In the evening when we reached home, Mantam had forgotten about it all as we were back to business as usual. When I brought out the topic of us having had lunch together, my daughters literally had their jaws on the floor 😀
I had to write about this fight as a reminder to ourselves that we don’t ever want this to repeat. Even if we do, we must prevent it in fornt of the kids. Abbas, hope you remember this too! 😀